SR Inn, Simpang Renggam

Now to introduce a local small town hotel. I had a photography assignment in tiny Simpang Renggam town in Johor at one time and I stayed at a small budget hotel. The town is as small as one can get.

The other alternative was to stay in Kluang and take a daily half hour drive each way. It is not the only act in town but I am happy with SR Inn for several reasons. It is centrally located in the middle of town though don’t expect any action or entertainment after 8pm.

The biggest attraction, for me, was the hotel is next to a coffee shop that sells Chinese lontong and porridge in the morning. While the hotel included some rudimentary breakfast in the lobby, I liked the convenient eatery next door.

Other nice thing was they gave me and crew rooms on the ground floor so we needn’t lug our camera and lighting gear up and down a staircase. More for safety of the equipment at night as it was street parking with no guards.

Rooms were clean, with reliable air conditioning and hot water supply. Am surprised to see the tariffs are now cheaper than the walk in rates I paid. The take away is one should book rooms online and it may be cheaper.

Thousands of small town hotels can be found online if you search at MyCen Hotels. Better start booking now if you are going back to your hometown this coming Hari Raya festival. Many families are planning to stay in hotels because their pampered urban kids can’t sleep without air conditioning and in granny’s mosquito nets or to bath without hot water showers.

Link to SR Inn Booking Page:

Ampang Pecah

From Kerling, I turned east on Federal Route 1 to head for Kuala Kubu Bharu town. Although KKB is rich in history and its route to the east is geographically significant, the town is known more for its colonial charm and surrounding greenery.

Hipsters flocked there for different reasons, though. The Hainanese bread shop that used to beguile them is now closed. Not to worry: they now lie on the middle of the road for a selfie. They pretend the modern interlocking tiles are ancient cobblestones.

KKB is also a stopover town for those traveling to Fraser’s Hill. Oddly, few visitors wonder about the logical existence or location of an older town.

Indeed, there was a Kuala Kubu without the fancy suffix or hip abbreviation. Tragedy struck the original town in 1883 when a nearby dam broke. It flooded and destroyed the entire town, killing a few dozen residents.

The then British colonial government built a replacement town a few kilometers away and it was named Kuala Kubu Bharu. Duh.

The annihilated town was subsequently renamed Ampang Pecah to mean Broken Dam in Malay.

This landscape was photographed in the Ampang Pecah area. With over a century to heal, it has recovered from site of mass destruction to become a serene and idyllic suburb of KKB. Few outsiders ever step foot here or know about its stormy past.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f11, 1/800 sec.